It never rains but it pours?
I’ve been trying to be a good boy and keep my portfolio up-to-date. But I never have anything to show for myself when I have the time to post, and I never have enough time to post stuff when I actually have something to toot my horn about!
Since I haven’t updated in the last few months, I feel obligated to prove that I’m not trapped under a bookcase somewhere, slowly starving to death on a diet of dust jackets and pages of Harry Potter.
Here’s some stuff that I’m working on these days/just finished recently…
Songs She Wrote About People She Knows
Songs She Wrote About People She Knows is a deadpan comedy by local comedian/filmmaker Kris Elgstrand. It centres around an emotionally-repressed woman who finds release through song, leaving uproariously aggressive musical rants on her friends’ and coworkers’ voicemails. Hilarity ensues.
I spent much of August creating the title graphics, intertitles and end credits for this film. I also designed movie posters, postcards, DVD covers, buttons, and other promotional images and graphics for the film’s September premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Songs She Wrote will be playing at the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival this weekend. You can buy tickets here.
Ally Was Screaming
Earlier in the summer I did some cleanup work on a number greenscreen shots for the feature thriller Ally Was Screaming (you can see a breakdown of that work in my last blog post). Ally Was Screaming was featured in the closing gala of the Calgary International Film Festival just last weekend, and will also be screening at the Whistler Film Festival in December.
Another project just wrapped up: In August, I did some VFX work on a short horror film. My job was to blow up the hero in the messiest, most shocking way possible. It’s a pretty sweet shot, so hopefully I’ll be able to show off some clips soon.
BC Lung Association
As a sort of a sequel to a project I did for the Canadian Lung Association last year, I am working on a short series of stop-smoking animated PSAs with director Jenn Strom. Production is just starting to ramp up now, and will carry on through October.
Beat Around the Bush
Brianne Nord-Stewart is working on a hilarious new short film about old ladies and sex toys. Filming just wrapped on the project, and I will be developing on-screen text and graphics for it in early October.
Follow Beat Around the Bush on Twitter: twitter.com/BATBTheMovie
This one is new news on an older project: A few years ago I did some VFX and compositing work on an experimental short film by Nick Kalish. Hotbox was shot on a stereo RED rig and required a number of visual effects shots, also created in stereo, featuring smoke and atmospherics. Much of the work was accomplished with computer-generated smoke and dust simulations, but I also made use of practical effects for certain sequences.
It was just announced that Hotbox will finally get its festival premiere at the 3D Korean International Film Festival on October 5th. Awesome!
Shane Koyzcan Poem
A project that grew out of a question mark; Knowledge had commissioned a work from local spoken word artist Shane Koyczan, but ended up not knowing how to utilize it. I pitched and developed a short that combined commissioned footage with animated typography to communicated Knowledge’s brand identity in Shane’s own words. The piece premiered a couple days ago, when it headlined a special screening at Vancity Theatre to celebrate the launch of Knowledge’s fall broadcast season.
Every year at Knowledge Network we host a travel contest, and this year’s instalment features a 17-day tour of Scotland. The promotional campaign for the contest stars an animated character I pitched in an attempt to inject a dose of humour into the campaign: an animated Scottish Terrier who pops up randomly in promos and imagery. The character has been featured online and in our magazine all summer, and promos featuring my animated Scotty will air starting in October when the contest officially launches.
Check out the contest page here: Knowledge.ca/contest
Since the first people made their homes in the Pacific Northwest 15,000 years ago, the area has been defined by the intersection of disparate cultures. Between different peoples a lingua franca evolved, and during the Gold Rush that trade pidgin evolved to encompass speakers of English, French, and even Hawaiian. This new language became known as Chinook Jargon, and so permeated the linguistic zeitgeist of the area that even today we use Chinook words every day without knowing it.
I’m currently working on a series of fun animated shorts about the Chinook language, in the style of Terry Gilliam. I’ve spent the whole summer learning to speak Chinook Jargon, and I’m really excited to share this fascinating sliver of British Columbian heritage with others.
Listen to the Chinook Jargon song below. It’s such an intriguing combination of new and familiar sounds, and every single word has a rich and colourful etymology: